How to Handle the Media and Lay Down the Foundation of The Right Impression

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Written by Mary Phelps

Lecture for the Emerging Dressage Athlete’s 2011 Robert Dover Horsemanship Clinic, Wellington Florida

Isabelle Leibler delivers the perfect example of what we are looking for in a good interview after her Gold Medal win with Watson 8 at the 2011 North American Young Riders' Championships. Watch the video
Isabelle Leibler delivers the perfect example of what we are looking for in a good interview after her Gold Medal win with Watson 8 at the 2011 North American Young Riders' Championships. Watch the video

When I was asked by Lendon Gray to be a speaker at the EDAP “Mega Clinic” held following the Christmas holiday, I gladly cut my holiday short to head to Wellington in time to make it for the tail end of what was an amazing week for not only the 17 invited young dressage riders, but also for all those involved: parents, sponsors, organizers and support staff who devoted their time, passion and efforts to make it happen. As a longtime media person with a penchant for dressage, I was able to share some insight, advise, stories, and thoughts based on the years of experiences and travels as both a photographer and journalist. Lendon asked me to use the topic “How to Handle the Paparazzi” and as I developed my presentation seized on the opportunity to share some observations I have made along the way.

Mary Phelps-Hathaway in the sea of photographers at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games (Photo: JJ Hathaway)
Mary Phelps-Hathaway in the sea of photographers at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games (Photo: JJ Hathaway)

I am a long time member of the IAEJ: International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists, and began my international career in 1982 at the Dressage World Equestrian Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, where Dr. Reiner Klimke won the Gold Medal. I realized as we celebrate 15 years on the World Wide Web, many of the EDAP participants were not even born yet. As promised, I said I would report on our website DressageDaily the points I presented to the group. So here you go!

Journalists Are Not The Enemy
Most of us involved in equestrian sport share your passion for horses and the world we cover. While you attend a show to ride one, maybe two horses the photographers and writers covering an event are there for most of the show. Then their work continues beyond the final award ceremonies writing, organizing images, fact checking, hunting down sources, and more. Many are also horsemen like you, who compete and ride, often sacrificing valuable time away from their animals, home and goals to do their jobs. The pay is not great, the time and expense is often self-funded, and they like you share a passion for horses. Sometime mistakes are made; you may be misquoted, or the message you had hoped to deliver in an interview may not have been translated into what you had imagined would be in print. Appreciate the effort that was made on your behalf, and take the time to send a small note of thanks. That journalist will remember you favorably and look forward to working with you again. If you feel you were misquoted, then be gracious, thank the writer for their effort and offer them the opportunity to respond, explain and hopefully correct the discrepancy, if it has been confirmed to be one.

Some riders have had bad experiences, and the internet has opened the door to some who may not be as responsible as others in their reporting style and delivery. You have every right to ask the reporter if you can record your interview on your I-phone or a small flip video or tape recorder. This way you can listen to your delivery and learn how to improve, and have a record of exactly what you said. Be careful when you notice the interviewer not recording, as it is easy to miss something while taking notes or to not accurately word your response.

Know the Information
You should know and be able to deliver information often asked for, and know all the correct spelling; the breeding of your horse, the breeder, owner, your trainer, sponsors. You should have and maintain a brief bio of yourself keeping your latest accomplishments update to facilitate information for the show announcer, and organizer who may need it for the program or website.

Know Who to Thank - And Remember To
It takes a village for you to have made it to any event, so know who to thank both in print and in person, before, during and after the show. Be sure to mention your trainer, organizers, sponsors, owners, and above all your parents who have made this all possible for you. Remember to compliment your fellow competitors and teammates, and of course remember to thank your horse. Learn about the sponsors and pay attention to who they are. I guarantee you they have put out a lot of energy and money to help make the show what it is. Think of patronizing them as a thank you for their effort, and it will reinforce their reasons to continue. Thank them for sponsoring when you see them at the booth, or when they hand you a ribbon. Don’t forget the volunteers who also make it possible for the show to go on.

Make It Interesting and Fun

Tim McQuay and Tom McCutcheon with USEF Dressage Chef D'Equipe Eva Salomon.
Tim McQuay and Tom McCutcheon with USEF Dressage Chef D'Equipe Eva Salomon.

I love going to a press conference featuring the US Reiners. They are like the NASCAR drivers of equestrian sport. Some of our High Performance Reining team are, shall we say, “big guys”, a fact that did not go unnoticed by the international press. At the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games press conference a Japanese journalist made mention of that fact, and asked the team about their size. Gold Medalist, and 2010 USEF Horseman of the Year, Tom McCutcheon leaned into the mike placed in front of him where he sat with his teammates at the table and said “Ma’am, when we come to a heavyweight event, we bring the heavyweights.”

Talk about your ride, your feelings, and don’t be afraid to mention your mistakes. Maybe someone reading the interview can learn something from your experiences. Don’t assume that all journalists or those reading the articles published are knowledgeable about your sport. Keep in mind you are an ambassador for your sport and your country.

Don’t be intimidated by the tough questions, be honest and don’t be defensive. Take a moment before you answer the question, don’t rush, take a sip of water as a tactic to give yourself the time needed to formulate your answer. Give a short but straightforward answer. You don’t have to say anything you do not want to. At Aachen, where Edward Gal was competing for the first time at the same event as his former mount Totilas a journalist asked him about his feelings. He stated simply that Totilas was now the mount for German rider Mathias Rath, and they should direct all questions about the horse to him. When the journalist pressed for a response from Gal, he responded short and sweet at to the effect; “Yes of course there are mixed emotions, but life goes on.”

Not all equestrian superstars give a great interview, and as journalists we can often direct the information we are looking for. If they forget to mention those they would like to thank, we can ask for names, or even though we know the answer can ask a question about the sport, show or their performance to help guide them to a better interview. We talk among ourselves too. “If I hear one more time ‘I love my horse’ as the only response to a winning medal” said one fellow journalist, after an interview, “why bother to even ask if that is all we can get!” Provide some detail about the ride, think of some good, original and descriptive “buzz words” to use for the writers to seize on. Writers often have to condense the interview into a much shorter version of all that was said, so keep that in mind when giving answers. Get to the point with some unique response, which shows your personality and feelings. We know that most of you have the dream of becoming an Olympian, or of being on the team of your country, but that should not be the ultimate goal for your career as a horseman. That too becomes a standard answer, and personally I feel not the right goal. Be the best that you can be, as a horseman, trainer, and professional if that is your direction, and the opportunities will come. Your education is important too, so be sure to talk about the balance in your life if it should be a part of the interview.

I also have many of the same questions from reporters presented, “How did it feel? Or how do you feel?” . When you are sitting there in an interview you might think, “Well how do you think it feels to win a medal, awesome!” Be prepared for this kind of a question and try to come up with an original funny or interesting quotable answer.

And please please, please, avoid using the redundant words “like” and "you know" .

Creating Lasting Impressions
Not all of you will have the privilege of being at the press table or being interviewed by a journalist for the news, but I would like this opportunity to share some more thoughts and ideas about the impressions you will make throughout your riding career. They say that first impressions are lasting ones, and in the horse world, which can be very small, this is very true. At the show, in the arena, with friends, stablemates, and at the barn you board and train remember to be kind, courteous, and helpful. Be neat and clean in your appearance, especially when you ride, even if you are just going for a hack after arriving on the grounds.

In the show ring, be immaculate. Watch out for too much bling. Be sure your jacket fits well, your hair is neat and plastered down, boots shiny, no dangly earrings or bouncing bun behind your head, and that your horse is presented in the best appearance ever. When you make the effort to present your self in the best light possible, you will ride better too.


Whether during the test or in her victory round Ashley Holzer always has a winning smile.
Whether during the test or in her victory round Ashley Holzer always has a winning smile.

Learn to smile, even if it is hard to do when you are concentrating on your ride. Many of our top riders who compete have expressions that we as photographers struggle to work with. Look at photos and watch Ashley Holzer. She presents the perfect picture of serenity and happiness on a horse. So if you find a natural smile a distraction, just try to do it down the centerline as you finish your test. Look the judge right in the eye, and give them a smile, which says “thank you for watching”. If you had a horrible test, don’t let them see you sweat or look upset, or shake your head. They have seen it all and many have had along the way an awful test in their lives too. It is insulting to a judge to display your feelings and emotions about your test. They know what they are looking for you don’t have to tell them. And for Pete’s sake, don’t cry, or storm out of the arena blaming your horse. Smile with your mouth open. When you smile with closed lips it displays a level of insecurity. Many of your parents have invested into those lovely straight white teeth of yours, so work it. All that said no need to overact, getting all gushy and falling over your horse at every halt and salute as if he just delivered the gold medal ride of a lifetime. The first time I saw a well known cutting horse trainer at work, each time his mare would navigate a calf from the herd, he would just stop as she stood perfectly still after her accomplishment. “I wonder why you do not reward her with a pat on the neck.” I asked. “The best reward is to just leave her alone.” was the straightforward reply.


Tina Konyot and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games
Tina Konyot and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games

Tina Konyot is a dear friend and so I know she will not mind me telling this story: I have photographed her throughout her career. She is a beautiful woman, and gorgeous rider. She has a lovely smile and dimples, yet when she rode, she looked like she was just angry. “Tina, I finally told her one day, you look like such a (I used the B word) up there. “Work that beautiful smile, not all of us are endowed with dimples like that.” Tina has taken my advise to heart over the years, and it was such a joy to photograph her and Calecto V at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, as she grinned with joy at the movements he delivered in the arena.

Just like journalists, judges are not the enemy either. Put yourself in their shoes from time to time. Sitting in a hard cold chair for hours on end, usually following a hard day of travel, with the prospects of another long return trip home. I talked about my smile theory one time to a judge, and she responded. “You know, if I was vacillating between a 5 and 6 on a score, and the rider made eye contact and gave me a nice smile, I might be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt and the higher mark.

Be Positive, Always – Make it a Way of Life
It is everyone’s inclination to talk, gossip, complain. I have been guilty of it and work very hard these days not to do it. Find something good to say about everyone which in only a very few cases in my life can be very difficult. Don’t ever talk badly about anyone, never, ever, ever. I know this is a tall order, but practice it in your daily life and it will come easier all the time. It has a domino effect. People will try to suck you into their gripes and issues, which may be justified for sure, but I just find it tiring and uncomfortable to be a part of it. Riders and trainers who are well known become a bigger target, o be prepared the more successful you become to know it could happen to you. How would you like to be the topic of a joke in a Jay Leno monologue? That is what famous people and presidents have to deal with all the time. Years ago I did an interview with Isabel Werth, when the European press was making much of the rivalry between her and Anky Van Grunsven. I asked her if it bothered her, or if this was the price that you pay by being on top.  I will always remember her response. “I am a farmer’s daughter who had the great fortune of being discovered and trained by Dr. Uwe Schulten Baumer. In the beginning when I had success at the shows everyone was happy for me, and congratulated me for my successes.” She recalled. “It is different when you are at the top in some ways.” That year we did the interview her Gold Medal mount Gigolo had been injured and was not able to compete at Aachen. “I rarely have the time to sit in the stands, but at Aachen this year I had no choice.” Isabel remembered. “I got to hear the comments about another up and coming German rider, and knew I was not alone.”

So you had a bad show, a bad ride, a tiff with your trainer, your parents, or the show secretary. Don’t brood, sulk and worst of all, don’t take it out on your horse. There is always a way to turn a negative into a positive. “Today was just not our day, but I learned something from my mistakes, and it will be better next time.” It never hurts to apologize when you know you said or did the wrong thing. When I used to work all day as a show photographer and ran our then video company, there was never a perfect day. We could miss a ride, or not get the shot someone was looking for: sometimes with the website someone may e-mail and be upset I did not mention their horse or ride. The day could have gone so well in so many ways, but when that happens it just puts a cloud on my tired self who tried my best to please as many people as I could.

Make Facebook and Social Media Your Ally Not Your Downfall
As a journalist I use Facebook all the time to access riders for quotes, images, feedback. Employers, potential clients, owners, sponsors all monitor Facebook. This is your chance to project the right image about yourself as a young person who is aspiring to excel in what you do. What you say and do on Facebook could follow you for a long time, even with your so-called private friends. I could do a whole other article on this, and might sometime, but here are a few thoughts:

Your Facebook page is often how you project first impressions in the new age. Don’t wine, insinuate someone has hurt your feelings or be too silly or goofy. Don’t put suggestive photos on line or talk about how you got drunk at the party in your dorm last night. I know of a horse owner, very active on the Internet who was looking for a young rider to sponsor and give an incredible horse to ride. The owner ruled out a few potential candidates being seriously considered simply by reading their Facebook page.

Make it interesting. Share your show photos, keep a little blog on your travels, successes, and perspective on your challenges. When I began my website there was no Facebook or Google or Twitter. We told some stories about our travels. Astrid Appels of eurodressage.com has been a part of our lives since we first met on line in 1997 when she was 15 years old. She would keep her “journal” on line when she travelled with us to shows in America when she came over to visit. We learned then how people loved reading these reports almost more than the coverage of the show. You are allowed to have opinions, but don’t be mean, negative or critical. Keep it happy, positive and respectful and you may be surprised to see what could come your way from your Facebook page: Maybe a job, an opportunity, a horse.

When you are immersed in a serious competition which requires your concentration and focus, stay off the phone and computer. I recall being at a Young Rider clinic with Ulla Salzgeber, who admitted she stays away from articles about herself. So even the best of the best have feelings and can be affected by what is commented and said about them. With Facebook and the internet, multiply that factor by a million. You don't need it , you need to ride and keep your head in a good place. I am connected to just about every US team rider and know that when the competiton is underway, unless I meet them at a press conference, I do not expect to hear from them or see updates on their page.

In closing I can’t tell you and all of our readers how exciting, inspiring and effective this program, The Emerging Dressage Athlete Program and the inaugural Robert Dover Horsemastership course was. Although I was just there for part of one day, the energy and excitement from not only the young riders in attendance, but also those who developed the program, Lendon Gray and Robert Dover was exhilarating and an inspiration. As we head into a new year, with hope and promise for good things to come, I can’t help but get a sense of growth we have in our sport.

You can always contact me at mary@horsesdaily.com

See video

World Equestrian Games 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 14:23
FEI Communications
Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA).
 
The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal...
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:36
Grand prix show jumper Danielle Goldstein has represented Israel in major international competitions in 2014, from Spruce Meadows and Thunderbird Horsepark in Canada to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.  Upon returning to the United States, the dual US and Israeli citizen has been invited to compete in the Central Park Horse Show,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 13:20
Alltech Media
[CAEN, France] – After a successful 15 days of competition and celebration, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy have come to a close this evening with a farewell ceremony in the Michel d’Ornano Stadium in Caen. A cast of close to 2,000 of the world’s best equine and human athletes, more than 570,000 on-site spectators and 3,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:18
Diana DeRosa
Where to begin. I’m on the journey home with memories of Beezie Madden claiming the Individual Bronze Medal and Cortes C claiming the Best Horse title in the Final Four phase of Show Jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Chester Weber did us proud as well claiming an Individual Silver in Driving and his team was...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 22:54
FEI Press Release
FEI President HRH Princess Haya officially closed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy at the D’Ornano Stadium this evening, bringing to an end two weeks of incredible sport.  The final medals of the Games were presented by IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 22:47
Louise Parkes
 made it double-gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy today when adding the individual title to last Thursday’s team victory for The Netherlands. He made his way into this afternoon’s top-four Jumping final thanks to a horse that he admitted was inexperienced at this level of the sport and which clearly surprised him...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 22:30
In sport, time is often the difference between victory and defeat, and in a display of supreme individual horsemanship, the Netherlands Jeroen Dubbeldam today sealed a growing reputation within the sport of Show Jumping by claiming the Individual World Champion title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy by less than half a...

Eventing

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 14:55
Louise Parkes, FEI Communications
German star, Michael Jung, scooped the 6-year-old title with Star Connection while Frenchman, Thomas Carlile, steered last year’s 6-year-old winner Tanareze to victory in the 7-year-old category at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses 2014 at Le Lion d’Angers, France yesterday.
 
Carlile made history when...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:03
Ann Haller, Classic Communications
Fair Hill, MD - October 19, 2014 - Julie Richards, Newnan, GA and Urlanmore Beauty were flawless in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI** in Elkton, MD on Sunday afternoon. The 2004 Olympic team bronze medalist completed the three-phase competition without...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:40
Ann Haller, Classic Communications
Fair Hill, MD - October 18, 2014 -  Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA and Master Frisky managed to maintain the lead in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in Elkton, MD on Saturday, but it is still anyone's game going into the final day of competition as seven penalties separate the top four...
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 14:26
USEF Communications Department
Lexington, KY - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is now accepting proposals for the USEF Eventing Developing Rider Coach position. The Developing Rider Coach will work under the direction of USEF Eventing Team Coach David O'Connor to further develop and oversee the Eventing 25 and Eventing 18 programs. To learn more about the USEF...
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 14:23
Stuart Horse Trials Media
Victor, NY - October 17, 2014 - If the Stuart Horse Trials wanted to top its successful 25th anniversary last July, then today's news certainly fits the bill. Equestrian Events, Inc. (EEI), organizer of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, is partnering with Stuart Horse Trials to organize the Stuart event in Victor, NY, starting in July 2015....
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 14:02
Ann Haller, Classic Communications
Fair Hill, MD - October 16, 2014 - Three week s on the road traveling across the country from California to Maryland, and a first-time ride at The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, was only part of the challenge Matthew Brown, Petaluma, CA, set for himself to "get outside of his comfort zone". Happenstance, an 8-year old Holsteiner...
Friday, October 17, 2014 - 13:53
Ann Haller, Classic Communications
Fair Hill, MD - October 15, 2014 - Eventing riders from coast to coast of the U.S. and around the world presented horses today at The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International CCI ***...

Reining and Western Riding

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 11:15
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Tampa, Fl. - Quarter Horse riders, owners and trainers mark your calendars and clear your schedules now for December 27 - 31, 2014. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Shows is returning to the Florida State Fairgrounds' Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and the five full days of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows are not to be missed....
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 11:10
The Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation Center will be at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and will be providing therapies. MagnaWave and Laser Therapy will be available with special Congress pricing. They can treat your horses and your dogs. To make an appointment call or text Melissa at (352)804-6864
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 11:52
Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
Oklahoma City, OK - The American Quarter Horse (AQHA) World Championship Show November 7-22, will once again feature a para-equestrian reining demonstration on November 15, 2014. The demonstration will take place in The Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City after the Senior Reining CRI 3*. The previous 2013 AQHA World...
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 11:10
Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group
Jupiter, FL - Steed Training and Horse Show By Appointment are making the final preparations for another exciting, family friendly Western exhibition on Saturday, Sept. 27. Spectators are welcome to the free event at Golden L Ranch in Jupiter, FL. Brothers Trevor and Rick Steed of Steed Training will lead the way in showcasing team sorting and...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 13:20
Alltech Media
[CAEN, France] – After a successful 15 days of competition and celebration, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy have come to a close this evening with a farewell ceremony in the Michel d’Ornano Stadium in Caen. A cast of close to 2,000 of the world’s best equine and human athletes, more than 570,000 on-site spectators and 3,...
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - 12:18
Diana DeRosa
Where to begin. I’m on the journey home with memories of Beezie Madden claiming the Individual Bronze Medal and Cortes C claiming the Best Horse title in the Final Four phase of Show Jumping at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Chester Weber did us proud as well claiming an Individual Silver in Driving and his team was...
Sunday, September 7, 2014 - 22:54
FEI Press Release
FEI President HRH Princess Haya officially closed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy at the D’Ornano Stadium this evening, bringing to an end two weeks of incredible sport.  The final medals of the Games were presented by IOC Member, Tsunekazu Takeda, Vice-President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Member of the...

Driving

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - 13:25
Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
Lodi, California- Four Para-Equestrian Drivers competed at the Shady Oaks CDE September 18-21, 2014, in Lodi, California. Those athletes included Tracy Bowman competing in Preliminary Single Pony; Ginny Leal competing in Training Level Single Pony; Diane Kastama competing in Preliminary Pair; and Stefanie Putnam who competed in Preliminary Single...
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 11:09
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The last USEF National Combined Driving Champions of 2014 were crowned during the final day at the Kentucky Classic CDE as drivers guided their horses and ponies through Richard Nicoll's 20-obstacle cones course at the Kentucky Horse Park.   USEF National Pairs Championship  Misdee Wrigley Miller (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) earned her...
Sunday, October 5, 2014 - 11:23
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - The exciting marathon phase took place Saturday at the Kentucky Classic CDE, the host of the final USEF National Combined Driving Championship competitions of 2014. Drivers demonstrated their skill through seven-obstacles on the marathon track at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. USEF National Pairs Championship        By...
Friday, October 3, 2014 - 09:37
Kathleen Landwehr, USEF
Lexington, Ky. - A warm and sunny afternoon at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., set the stage for the first phase of competition in the final USEF National Combined Driving Championships of 2014. Drivers entered the dressage arena at the Kentucky Classic CDE in order to take their first steps toward a National Title.  USEF National...
Monday, September 29, 2014 - 10:45
Helen Murray for USEF
Izsak, Hungary - The United States closed out the 2014 FEI World Driving Championships for Singles on a high note with strong performances in the cones phase. Jacob Arnold and Donna Crookston were among only seven competitors to produce clears on Sunday, while Leslie Berndl also left all the balls in place, just collecting a handful of time...
Monday, September 29, 2014 - 10:18
Cindy Timmer
After four exciting days with seventy-seven drivers from 24 nations at the eighth FEI World Single Driving Championships in Izsák (HUN) at the weekend, Dutch driver Wilbrord van den Broek won individual gold and Germany took team gold for the third time in a row. Hats off Four-time Dutch champion Wilbrord van den Broek won the Dressage phase with...
Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 11:01
Helen Murray for USEF
Izsak, Hungary - The United States will head out on the marathon at the FEI World Driving Championships in ninth place, after posting a team score of 101.57 in the dressage. On Friday, Jacob Arnold and Hotspur's Red Rowl rounded the U.S. effort in the first phase with a top-40 performance. Arnold (Snow Camp, FL.) and John C. Merritt and Karen K....

Show Jumping

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 15:03
Celine Pardo, Gucci PR
Gucci Creative Director, Frida Giannini, has designed an exclusive silk twill foulard in honor of Gucci’s sponsorship of the Gucci Paris Masters, the prestigious International Show Jumping event which takes place for its 6th edition in Paris from December 4th to December 7th 2014. Measuring 90 cm x 90 cm, the foulard’s unique design, a...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:53
Blenheim EquiSports
Las Vegas, NV - October 20, 2014 - Less than a month away, the Las Vegas National Horse Show buzz is building.  With three thrilling evenings of world-class show jumping guaranteed to pack the house, the South Point Hotel and Casino is the spot to be from November 13th through 15th, 2014.
Reed Kessler and Cylana, photo by Spruce Media...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:24
Pennsylvania National Horse Show PR
Harrisburg, PA - October 18, 2014 - It was a day filled with excitement as 22 amateur adult riders took to the ring at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for the $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Owner Jumper Classic. In a field of very competitive riders, only five of the initial 22 made it through the first round without penalties and...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:05
Equine Canada
Toronto, Ontario – Tickets are going fast for this year’s Jump Canada Hall of Fame Gala, presented by BMO Financial Group, to be held on Sunday, November 9, 2014, at the Liberty Grand in Toronto, ON. The Jump Canada Hall of Fame was created in 2006 to recognize outstanding contributions to hunter/jumper sport.  This year’s celebrated inductees...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 11:01
Kendall Bierer for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
Algarve, Portugal - October 18, 2014 - Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm's Constable raced to a speedy finish during the Vilamoura Champions Tour on Friday at the Centro Hípico de Vilamoura. The world's best riders faced off during the 7 Year Old Jumpers in a race against the clock, with Kraut and Constable finishing the tricky track with a...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:51
Louise Parkes, FEI Communications
The Netherlands’ Jur Vrieling produced another spectacular result today when winning the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2014/2015 Western European League series at Oslo in Norway. Partnering VDL Zirocco Blue, the 45-year-old rider who played a pivotal role in securing both team gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™...
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:31
Emily Riden, Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Harrisburg, PA - Two years ago, Jennifer Alfano purchased a young horse for the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program. She saw a horse with talent and untapped potential, a horse that she had faith would climb the ranks to become one of the industry's best. Together they dominated the Pre-Green Hunters throughout 2013, and today they once again...

Para Dressage

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 14:23
Written By: FEI Communications
Italy’s Sara Morganti has been voted the International Paralympic Committee’s best female Allianz Athlete of the Month for August following her incredible performance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA). The Tuscany-born Para-Equestrian Dressage rider scored an outstanding Freestyle Grade 1a gold medal with her mare Royal Delight ahead of British Paralympic and reigning world champion Sophie Christiansen and Singapore's most-decorated Paralympic athlete Laurentia Tan. Morganti, who also won Individual Grade 1a silver at the Games in Normandy, beat five champions to the top spot in the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) poll from the worlds of canoeing, athletics, swimming and sailing following a bumper month of global para-sport.   Since her internationa...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 10:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 10:16
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and support staff in Aachen having a team meeting during training camp. Photo courtesy of Sydney Collier Aachen, Germany  -  The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team and Chef d' Equipe Kai Handt arrived in Aachen and began their training camp this week. The U.S. Team and Individual athletes include: Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley; two-time Paralympian (2008 and 2012) and 2010 WEG athlete Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Angela Peavy (Avon, Con...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 16:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 16:56
Written By: USEF Communications
Sydney Collier and Willi Wesley at the 2014 Adequan Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall Lexington, Ky. - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named five horse-and-athlete combinations to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team. Four combinations will serve as the Team, while one combination will compete as an Individual. The following horse-and-athlete combinations have been named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team (in alphabetical order): Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi Wesley, a 2000 Warmblood gelding. Rebecca Hart (Unionville, PA) and her own Schroeter's Romani, a 2003 Danish Warmblood mare. Angela Peavy (Avon, Conn.) and Rebecca Re...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:44
Written By: Diana DeRosa
Susan Treabess. Photo by Diana DeRosa The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy are just around the corner and everyone headed to the Games is anxious for everything to start. Opening Ceremony takes place on August 23rd with the actual competition beginning on the 25th. While media and spectators are packing their bags, riders and horses competing in the first week and prepping for their journey to France. On Sunday, August 10th, the Endurance and Para-Dressage riders were sharing quarters at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. With camera in hand, it was the perfect opportunity to capture pictures and listen to the excited voices of the riders as they talked about the impending journey. The Para riders will be competing at the La Prairie Racecourse August 25...
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 12:44
Written By: Diana DeRosa
Susan Treabess. Photo by Diana DeRosa The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy are just around the corner and everyone headed to the Games is anxious for everything to start. Opening Ceremony takes place on August 23rd with the actual competition beginning on the 25th. While media and spectators are packing their bags, riders and horses competing in the first week and prepping for their journey to France. On Sunday, August 10th, the Endurance and Para-Dressage riders were sharing quarters at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. With camera in hand, it was the perfect opportunity to capture pictures and listen to the excited voices of the riders as they talked about the impending journey. The Para riders will be competing at the La Prairie Racecourse August 25...
Monday, August 11, 2014 - 12:06
Written By: Lindsay McCall for the USPEA
  Gladstone, NJ - In only 16 days the U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team will be riding down centerline at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy, France. In preparation for the trip overseas the final jog for each of the four U.S. team horses and individual horse occurred at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. Led by Chef d'Equipe Kai Handt, the four team duos include: Grade II rider Rebecca Hart (Unionville, Pa.) and Schroeter's Romani, owned by Rebecca Hart in conjunction with Margaret Duprey, Cherry Knoll Farm, Sycamore Station Equine Division, Barbara Summer, The Ruffolo's, and Will and Sandy Kimmel; Grade Ia rider Roxanne Trunnell (Rowlett, Texas) and her own Nice Touch; Grade Ib athlete Sydney Collier (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Victoria Dugan's Willi W...
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 12:44
Ottawa, ON, - The Canadian Para-Equestrian Team were in the top placings on the first day of competition at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage CPEDI3* held July 9-11, 2014 in Gloucester, ENG. Riding Double Agent, her seven-year-old Anglo-European Studbook mare, Roberta Sheffield of Lincolnshire, UK won her Grade III team test with 69.000%, and finished in second with Evelyn Little's eight-year-old gelding Dutch Warmblood, Bindro T, with a score of 68.211%. Three-time Paralympian Lauren Barwick of Aldergrove, BC and Equine Canada's 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, Off to Paris, finished in second place in their Grade II team test, scoring 68.824%. Ashley Gowanlock of Surrey, BC and Collegiate Sweet Leilani, M. Kendalyne Overway's 13-year-old Morgan mare, earned a score of 66.360% for seventh i...
Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 05:37
Susan and Kamiakin (Photo by SusanJStickle) Kamiakin is the first Spanish Horse ever to have the honor to represent the United States in an international competition. He and his rider Susan Treabess have been selected for the US Para-Equestrian Team that is going to the WEG in Normandy, France. Kamiakin is a P.R.E. Horse bred right here in the United States by Ami McHugh of Crown J Ranch. He is owned by Susan in partnership with American, Katie Hill, who now lives in Holland, and registered with The IALHA, The P.R.E. MUNDIAL and with ANCCE. The Problem: Due to budget cuts at USEF, Susan and Kamiakin need to raise about $15,000 more to be able to attend the games. Some donations have already been sent but it is not enough to get their team to France. Now is the time for all of us, the m...
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